Taking notes in class
Best tips by Union students
- Be serious about your class.
- Take at least brief notes. It helps you concentrate.
Note-taking forms the basis of my studies. My notes are precise, structured, and spontaneous. Nothing is more bothersome to me than having messy or unorganized notes.
As one of my friends told me, I take "anal notes." In fact, the more that I think of it, yes, I do. I can see why he said this. You see, I take notes with a ruler.
Mainly, I use this ruler to underline headings.
And sometimes, I use it to draw axes and diagrams, but this usually takes too much time. The ruler does two things: (1) It helps me to focus on the topic being presented, and (2) It allows me to keep everything neat. Sometimes I drop it, and that (I suppose) is the most annoying thing. :)
Perhaps, a sample of my notes will speak for themselves.
Note the underlining of headings, indentation, and combined use of printing, capitalization, and cursive. I usually reserve capitalization for headings, stressed/key words, or descriptions of things in figures. Also, note the use of parentheses, brackets, and arrows--they help guide me along the way. All of these are fundamental components I use to take notes, no matter what the course.
In case you were wondering, this green paper is the "standard" engineering stuff. I especially like it because of its grid, which helps me to keep everything in the proper alignment. I number and date every page, in case the unfortunate happens.
Sometimes, if you show up late for class, neatness doesn't count.
Not to worry, they were fixed later. :)
Usually, I do not re-copy my notes. I find that if I pay attention in class, take careful notes, do all the homework assignments, and talk to the Professors, then I will do fine; I have essentially done all the work already. So what if I take "anal notes"? They benefit me in more ways than one.
I keep all of my coursework in a personal library, in case I need to reference it later. I never throw it out. I don't resell my textbooks, either; since I feel that both form a record of my knowledge. If I were to throw everything away, then I would be throwing a part of myself away, too. It is something I hold very dear to me-- my knowledge. [Cregg Brown]
- Be neat and organized.
- Create your own system of abbreviations.
- Write single words to summarize ideas.
- Write on only one side of the notebook in class. Leave the other side for review, clarification, additional notes later.
- Read your notes. Soon after class, if possible.
- Rewrite notes after class. (This one is controversial. Some swear by it.)
Keep your notes. You may need them another term.
Although it may seem like a waste of time to many, I like to recopy my notes after class. By doing this, I refresh my memory and also make my notebook much neater, which is helpful when it comes time to study
for an exam.